Schtuff

Saturday, 31 March 2007

Although I'm no Jeff Schuler or Andy Timithy in terms of hardcore biking, I think I'm going to start riding my bike to work come Monday.

I was gonna grill on Sunday but it looks like thunderstorms.

I got my order from Toms Shoes yesterday. They are as comfortable as they say. I didn't believe it. But the best part is that my purchase bought a pair of shoes for a shoeless kid as well. All Toms Shoes purchases do that. If you decide to get some, you can use the discount code 1PAIR4FEET at the checkout to get a fiver off the price. Basically free shipping.

Finished Herodotus, convinced he's the first weblogger. Back to Agee and U.S. Guys by Charlie LeDuff.

Probably gonna go see Antaeus Dance tonight since just about everyone I know is in the performance, including the aforementioned JS.

PhotoShop Class

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

I took a PhotoShop class all day to­day just down the street from my of­fice. I learned a met­ric fuck­ton of in­fo that I can’t wait to put in­to prac­tice. I used to won­der what could be so im­por­tant that busi­ness folks would be on their cell­phones all the time, but I was wor­ried about the de­liv­ery of the ISC Annual Report since I was the main mo­ti­va­tor at get­ting a few copies print­ed and bound nice­ly. They were due yes­ter­day, and last I knew they still hadn’t been de­liv­ered. They’re due to­mor­row, by law, to the ADP Board, so I was hitch­ing back down the street on breaks and mak­ing phone calls to check on the every­thing.

And the thing is, I don’t mind it. I love the fact that I’m trust­ed to im­ple­ment my ideas and ex­pect­ed to suc­ceed at them. My judg­ment is trust­ed and I love that re­spon­si­bil­i­ty.

R2 Detour

Monday, 26 March 2007

Mom came up this week­end and bought a lap­top. I was gonna pimp it out for her, but Adelphia/​Time Warner de­cid­ed to switch over their servers with­out no­ti­fy­ing us, and it took them the whole week­end to turn it back on. Frustrating.

On my way to work to­day I saw this guy.
R2D2 First Class

Nostalgia Reject

Saturday, 24 March 2007

I think I’m go­ing to re­ject the act of nos­tal­gia from my life. Hindsight, re­flec­tion and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the past are fine, but com­par­ing the past to the present’s detri­ment is in­ef­fi­cient, ir­re­spon­si­ble and in­au­then­tic. All mo­ments are in­com­pa­ra­bly pre­cious and mo­ments past should not dis­tract and de­tract from the val­ue of the mo­ments present.

Ratatat Deux

Thursday, 22 March 2007

I saw Ratatat for the sec­ond time last week­end. The first time was al­most two years ago when they were tour­ing with Clinic. Stroud didn’t ap­pear to be pound­ing whisky as hard as he was last time, but I wasn’t pay­ing much at­ten­tion, since the Beachland was in­un­dat­ed with mid­dle and high school kids in an all ages showathon. Damn kids don’t know how to be­have at a show. I don’t know how many times some­one whined at me “Why won’t you let me in front of you?” since I was pret­ty close to the stage and am tall. Damn kids should have showed up at 8:30 like I did to see the open­ing acts. They might have learned that the lo­cal Muamin Collective is great. Despite the sea of greasy teenager­dom I en­joyed the show. Ratatat’s act is more pol­ished than it was two years ago [to be ex­pect­ed], but the best part is that I have a cam­era that takes video so I can share the love.

Ratatat “Crips”:
Ratatat “Truman”:
Ratatat “Seventeen Years”:

The Blood of a Poet

A part of this view­ing list: Criterion Collection Spine #67: Jean Cocteau’s The Blood of A Poet.

bloodpoet1.jpg

At first, this film seemed im­pen­e­tra­ble to me. It on­ly clocks in at 50 min­utes, but the film is so filled with a need for in­ter­pre­ta­tion that “preg­nant” doesn’t even be­gin to de­scribe it. Jean Cocteau ex­plic­it­ly states that the film is an al­le­go­ry [or sev­er­al of them] about the the mean­ing of art both time­less­ly and in the age of me­chan­i­cal re­pro­duc­tion. I’ve very de­lib­er­ate­ly not read any­thing about this film [I will on­ce I’ve fin­ished this re­view, you­betcha] but I sus­pect that Cocteau was wrestling with his own artis­tic thought-demons and up­on com­ple­tion, he de­cid­ed to ex­press them per­son­al­ly, and ul­ti­mate­ly fa­tal­is­ti­cal­ly in this film.

bloodpoet2.jpg

A few in­ter­ti­tles set the stage ear­ly on, as an artist is work­ing on a draw­ing of a stat­ue in his room. The mouth of the draw­ing comes to life and ends up get­ting at­tached to his hand and pos­sess­ing it. It de­mands air, makes out with him, fondles his body and prob­a­bly gives him a blowjob [a cut makes this part mere­ly im­plied, at least to me]. Eventually the artist/​poet ends up go­ing through the look­ing-glass and in­to his own [and since he stands for Cocteau, Cocteau’s] mind. His mind hap­pens to be a hotel hall­way and as he peeks through the key­holes he glimpses styl­ized and dis­turbing things.

bloodpoet4.jpg

The film is quite vi­o­lent, much of which is ex­pressed with the char­ac­ter­is­tic Cocteau in­ven­tive­ness. He was cer­tain­ly a spe­cial ef­fects ge­nius. Since much of this vi­o­lence ap­pears to be an in­ter­nal­ized man­i­fes­ta­tion of the artist’s mind, it shouldn’t be sur­pris­ing that there is an equal amount of de­viant sex­u­al be­hav­ior as well, a child dressed in bells is whipped, an opi­um den is viewed in sil­hou­et­te, a her­maph­ro­dite gives a peep-show, not to men­tion the afore­men­tioned hand/​blowjob.

bloodpoet3.jpg

The statue’s con­trol of the artist/​poet sug­gests that it rep­re­sents a Muse, but a rene­gade one who doesn’t play by the rules. She is out to teach a lesson; though art may pos­sess and provide grandiose and won­der­ful and world-chang­ing pos­si­bil­i­ty to the artist, some­thing of ex­treme solem­ni­ty; to oth­ers it will like­ly be just friv­o­lous en­ter­tain­ment. And, ul­ti­mate­ly, the im­por­tance of the art will not mat­ter, it will be de­stroyed, ig­nored, dis­in­te­grat­ed, or for­got­ten. Cocteau even in­di­cates that im­mor­tal­i­ty is not to be de­sired… “the mor­tal te­di­um of im­mor­tal­i­ty.”

bloodpoet5.jpg

Effectually, the film is an at­tempt to ren­der po­et­ic words un­to im­ages, and to me it seems to be more doc­u­ment than fa­ble, Cocteau of­fers no easy so­lu­tions. Especially since the artist/​poet com­mits sui­cide twice dur­ing the film. Stars, wire­frames, pas­sages, voyeuris­tic glo­ry ever­last­ing, de­nial, lar­ce­ny and pow­er­less­ness all in­ter­twine to present a two-fold mean­ing [at least] for the Blood of a Poet. The blood is his art, and art de­mands a poet’s blood.

bloodpoet6.jpg

Criterion Essay by Jean Cocteau.
• Brief re­view at Netcomuk [and much more Cocteau].
• Senses of Cinema re­view.
MovieMartyr re­view.
• YouTube clip of a good trick shot.

Lucky Strike

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

I got lucky tonight when the pow­er went off at my [most­ly worth­less] Flash class at the Tri-C Corporate College. We left ear­ly, which meant I had time to play pseudo-catch-up on all the crap that has been pil­ing up at my apart­ment. I used to won­der how it could be pos­si­ble that some­one might not have enough time to read, but with the three vol­un­teer projects I’m cur­rent­ly work­ing on, the free­lance work, my reg­u­lar 9 – 5 and oth­er un­seen events, I now have a huge pile of read­ing. I’ve al­ready re­newed the Agee book of film re­views twice and Herodotus on­ce. Incidentally, read­ing Herodotus is a lot like read­ing a weblog. I’m two months be­hind on my Paste sub­scrip­tion, so I’ve def­i­nite­ly got to catch up on that.

I man­aged to watch a Criterion film twice tonight. Hopefully I’ll be able to fin­ish the re­view to­mor­row. I was pseudo-MetaFiltered when some­one linked to my Criterion Project in an­oth­er post about some­one who in­tends to watch all of the films. I on­ly got about a 30% in­crease in traf­fic, [took me forever to re­mem­ber the pass­word to check my web­stats] which is good. If I had been linked on the front page, I’d prob­a­bly have to pay a hefty server bill this mon­th.

Checking the web­stats re­vealed that the string that keeps re­sult­ing in hits for my site is “rape sce­nes” ever since, way back when, I re­viewed Straw Dogs. And now I prob­a­bly just in­creased the chance of my site show­ing up in that re­sult by writ­ing it here. DON’T INDEX THIS, BOT!

Going to sleep now. I’ll be bowl­ing for Harvest for Hunger to­mor­row at the Corner Alley. I was shang­haied by the Department of Development when they lost a per­son. The County Commissioners are bowl­ing again­st City of­fi­cials to­mor­row be­fore us nobody’s get to work. I haven’t bowled in a few years but I ful­ly in­tend to kick everyone’s ass.